New Leak: Trump administration has its eyes on Goldman-Venezuela bailout deal

At first glance, news that the Trump administration is scrutinizing Goldman Sachs' morally questionable $2.4 billion purchase of Venezuelan state bonds seems to be good news. According to Reuters:

The Trump administration is concerned about any action by U.S. companies that provides a financial lifeline to Venezuela's government, senior White House officials told Reuters, after Goldman Sachs Group came under fire for purchasing $2.8 billion of state oil company bonds at a steep discount.

Venezuela's political opposition and some U.S. lawmakers have condemned the purchase of so-called "hunger bonds" as a way to prop up President Nicolas Maduro's cash-strapped government, accused of being behind food shortages affecting millions of Venezuelans in a worsening crisis.

The New York-based investment bank said last week that it never transacted directly with Venezuelan authorities when it bought the bonds of oil firm PDVSA for pennies on the dollar.

"We're concerned by anything that provides a lifeline for the status quo," one U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters. "I would prefer them not to."

A second administration official said U.S. companies making Venezuela investments should "think morally about what they're doing."

Well, yes, anyone should be glad to hear this. Apparently, the Trump administration is as disgusted as the rest of us at the news the storied investment bank plunked down $2.4 billion to buy the bonds of the state oil company, effectively amounting to a bailout. So they're human.

That raises the main question about the story, and Reuters probably should have asked: Why isn't this a public statement? Why does this have to be a leak? The Trump administration is full of leaks and obviously it hasn't solved its problem. What's more, tthe president himself has questioned whether these leaks are from true sources at all. The fact that it is a leak suggests a certain desire for deniability.

And that raises another question derived from the first - why would something like this need any deniablity - the Venezuelan regime's awfulnesss is well known by all and the U.S. doesn't need anything from them. It would be pretty easy to instead to blast the transaction and get out front on the isssue, not slither around with leaks and weather balloons. Sure, there are many ex-Goldman alumni in the Trump administration. But even Goldman itself seems interested in repairing the damage to its reputation that this bailout caused, so it shouldn't be an issue.

The bottom line is, it shouldn't be that hard to criticize Goldman for being Venezuela's financial lifeline given tthe story. That it isn't leaves one just a tad queasy.

 

 

 

 

 

At first glance, news that the Trump administration is scrutinizing Goldman Sachs' morally questionable $2.4 billion purchase of Venezuelan state bonds seems to be good news. According to Reuters:

The Trump administration is concerned about any action by U.S. companies that provides a financial lifeline to Venezuela's government, senior White House officials told Reuters, after Goldman Sachs Group came under fire for purchasing $2.8 billion of state oil company bonds at a steep discount.

Venezuela's political opposition and some U.S. lawmakers have condemned the purchase of so-called "hunger bonds" as a way to prop up President Nicolas Maduro's cash-strapped government, accused of being behind food shortages affecting millions of Venezuelans in a worsening crisis.

The New York-based investment bank said last week that it never transacted directly with Venezuelan authorities when it bought the bonds of oil firm PDVSA for pennies on the dollar.

"We're concerned by anything that provides a lifeline for the status quo," one U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters. "I would prefer them not to."

A second administration official said U.S. companies making Venezuela investments should "think morally about what they're doing."

Well, yes, anyone should be glad to hear this. Apparently, the Trump administration is as disgusted as the rest of us at the news the storied investment bank plunked down $2.4 billion to buy the bonds of the state oil company, effectively amounting to a bailout. So they're human.

That raises the main question about the story, and Reuters probably should have asked: Why isn't this a public statement? Why does this have to be a leak? The Trump administration is full of leaks and obviously it hasn't solved its problem. What's more, tthe president himself has questioned whether these leaks are from true sources at all. The fact that it is a leak suggests a certain desire for deniability.

And that raises another question derived from the first - why would something like this need any deniablity - the Venezuelan regime's awfulnesss is well known by all and the U.S. doesn't need anything from them. It would be pretty easy to instead to blast the transaction and get out front on the isssue, not slither around with leaks and weather balloons. Sure, there are many ex-Goldman alumni in the Trump administration. But even Goldman itself seems interested in repairing the damage to its reputation that this bailout caused, so it shouldn't be an issue.

The bottom line is, it shouldn't be that hard to criticize Goldman for being Venezuela's financial lifeline given tthe story. That it isn't leaves one just a tad queasy.

 

 

 

 

 

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